Dorset To Host Euro Paddleboard Championships

Dorset To Host Euro Paddleboard Championships

Published at 7:05am 29th January 2017.

Swanage is set to host the N1SCO European Stand Up Paddleboard Championships this June.

Swanage is set to host the N1SCO European Stand Up Paddleboard Championships this June.

N1SCO is the largest Stand-up Paddleboard racing class in the UK and is one design in nature. This means all of the competitors must compete on an identical board of the same design. This keeps the racing both fair and affordable to everyone with the end result purely being a product of the paddler's skill and ability.

Paddlers race on an inflatable 'Naish One' paddleboard that packs down into a rucksack, allowing competitors to travel easily to events around the world. The boards are easy to use and hard wearing.

Kelly Fenech lives in Swanage and is business development officer at Purbeck Sports Centre, where her role is to encourage people to get more active and try out new sports.

She told Wessex FM that many people hink they' can't paddleboard, but that actually it's quite easy:

"You just have to get up and give it a go. And even if you can't stand up get on it and go on your knees and you still get a really nice experience.

It's good physically and mentally and it's peaceful just being out on the sea, and sometimes you even meet the local seal in Swanage. We've had him bobbing along behind our boards sometimes."

Close racing is guaranteed with both newcomers to the sport and top paddlers taking part from many countries around the World. Around 150 competitors are expected with teams likely from Switzerland, Italy, France, Holland, Germany and as far afield as Japan and Australia where last year's World Championships were held. Racing is not restricted to those owning the right equipment as entry to the event also comes with an option to hire a board and paddle for the weekend.

Alex Tobutt from Naish in the UK said: "We are chuffed to bring the European Championships to the UK. N1SCO has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the World so to showcase this in the UK is fantastic.

"Swanage has been chosen for the event venue due to its sheltered waters, golden sands and characterful town centre.

The bay is fantastic, sheltered, safe and with a beach that paddlers and their family can enjoy.

It really is a postcard spot that has everything we need to run the championships whilst families can also enjoy a weekend on the coast."

Racing will take part over the weekend of the 10th and 11th June 2017 from outside the Mowlem Theatre right, so spectators will be able to view the racing.

Competitors will take part in three races: 100m sprints, a 500m and a 10km race.

Caroline Finch, Chairman of Swanage Town Council Tourism Committee said: "Swanage Bay is a fantastic venue for the Paddleboard European Championship. We can't wait to welcome competitors from far and wide for this exciting new event to our lovely town. We are delighted to host this event for 2017."